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'99 GL1500SE. 144,000 miles - runs like a top. I've had an oil leak for a while and now I'm trying to find its source. Oil is quite wet on the coolant drain plug and the water pump cover is oiliest on the clutch side of the bike. There's oil on the crankcase but it's dry, oil down the side of the engine on the clutch side - drier the farther back it goes. Hard to see but I'm reasonably sure it's not a head gasket leak. I'm thinking it's the o-ring on the water pump. Seems like o-rings don't fail often though. I'm wondering if I'm getting too much crankcase pressure but don't know how to check it. Any experience here appreciated. Please hold guesses - got plenty of those.
 

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Junior Grue
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With the engine running pull the dipstick and place your finger over the hole.
If the crankcase ventilation system is working your finger will be pulled toward the hole.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hmmmm. Good, Ken. Is there a one-way valve somewhere in the venting scheme?
 

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What Ken suggests is a fair test but the slight amount of negative pressure would be hard to feel. Maybe a better test would be to test the crank case pressure with a vacuum gauge. I would expect some negative pressure at the dipstick. There is a funnel shaped screen that is in the air cleaner box that might be plugged. I'm assuming you have been draining the crankcase breather storage tank somewhat regularly. That is one of the clear plastic tubes with the plugs you should drain during maintenance. Of course there is always a possibility that the o-ring at the pump has just failed. Clean it all up and take it for a ride.
 

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I think that any suggestions will be an educated guess,but if you power wash the area and use baby powder on it,the source of the oil escaping will show up.
 

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Hmmmm. Good, Ken. Is there a one-way valve somewhere in the venting scheme?
No check valves. Not much more than a glorified bypass hose vented to the air box. Goes in. Goes through. Then back to the air box where it is burned. The only negative pressure is whatever the carbs pull in the air box which is not much. Especially at idle.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If you are getting oil and coolant, it seems like the pump will be leaking.

And leaks are hard to pinpoint but clean the pump weep hole and start the search there.
No coolant leak at the weep hole, just oil.
 

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No coolant leak at the weep hole, just oil.
As Dennis said. There is a seal in the water pump that keeps the coolant inside. There is an o-ring that keeps the oil in the engine. If either fails it will leak out the weep hole. The weep hole is completely dry under normal circumstances.
 

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'99 GL1500SE. 144,000 miles - runs like a top. I've had an oil leak for a while and now I'm trying to find its source. Oil is quite wet on the coolant drain plug and the water pump cover is oiliest on the clutch side of the bike. There's oil on the crankcase but it's dry, oil down the side of the engine on the clutch side - drier the farther back it goes. Hard to see but I'm reasonably sure it's not a head gasket leak. I'm thinking it's the o-ring on the water pump.

Terry. Here's a picture of an oil leak from the water pump seal. Does your pattern/spread look similar? The drain plug looks drier on this one than you describe on yours.
 

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